Just Write {78}

March 25, 2013

We pulled things down from the shelves in the storage room downstairs, holding them out to Grandma, What’s this? Do you want this? Goodwill? Do you want to give it to someone in the family? She answered over and over and then went upstairs for a while, to sit down and watch basketball. Her name hit the top of the list of all who are waiting to live in apartments at a lovely place in a city nearby. Two of her sisters live there now. My Grandma, she is too well to go to assisted living and ready to not have the whole house to herself anymore. It’s time to move away from the house. We found a box of things Grandpa used to have at the lumber yard, back when it was his, years ago. The guys would come and hang out there. I remember sorting nails in little containers all in […]

{ 10 comments }

Just Write {76}

March 11, 2013

These sesame rice crackers taste different today. Yesterday I thought they were the best thing I’d ever tasted. Today they just kind of taste weird. Same crackers. I chew ice, the kind that’s all blasted apart by an in-the-freezer ice maker. I don’t know how it makes ice and then you can push a button and it makes loud noises to give you bite-sized pieces, but I love it. Chewing ice is a sign of anemia, did you know that? I mean, if you chew it addictively, like me. I’m anemic. Again. You’d think I would just keep taking the iron supplements all the time forever and ever amen, but I don’t. I stop. Then I want to go back in time to be more responsible about my diet and taking iron so I don’t have a hemoglobin count thingy of 9. But I can’t go back in time, obviously. That happens in […]

{ 26 comments }

Just Write {74}

February 25, 2013

We were talking numbers with a realtor. The discussion back and forth between Ryan and this 26 years veteran of real estate left me dazed, staring off toward our piano, wondering if we’ll take it along when we move. They worked out the numbers. The only thing my brain would do in regard to numbers was try to plan how many plastic storage bins I want to buy this week because they’re on sale. I was imagining putting all the things in them that we don’t use every day, to pare down and clean off and give the house the appearance of tidy and minimal and open and big. After our realtor left with promises of putting the house on the market on March 1, I took the bins we already have and headed downstairs to go through our storage space. I organized the kids’ clothing and re-organized the boxes and bins already […]

{ 15 comments }

Just Write {70}

January 28, 2013

Saturday, in a coffee shop, I worked hard. Sending emails and writing posts and writing other things. I got a lot done, there in the caffeinated room, high ceilings, chill in the air from the door opening and closing. My friend Rhonda sat nearby doing her work. She has two daughters and a full-time job and a part-time job–the one she was working on today. We sat apart to stay focused but took breaks together. She loves her coffee strong and so do I but I can’t drink it in the afternoon like she can or I don’t sleep. I called Ryan to check-in and he said he was out with the kids looking at a book store for a new puzzle because we’re almost done with the last one. We do many puzzles in the winter, it started after I quit drinking. Puzzles were a way for me to distract my brain […]

{ 13 comments }

shifting

September 26, 2012

I’m sad. Which makes very little sense considering I’m excited and happy. I spent the day with my cousin and her groom on Saturday, taking pictures. Their wedding took place at a beautiful camp on a beautiful lake surrounded by beautiful fall leaves. My cousin, she is almost strangely similar to me. She’s creative and sensitive, giggly and anxious, friendly and maybe a little scared. Her eyes are the brightest blue; they matched the lake in the background. She is many years younger than I, and her youth shines from her skin and her smile and her hair is the most beautiful blonde flowy hair.  When I was her age, I downed Dr. Pepper like it was water and furiously chewed the left over ice cubes. Amby does the exact same thing. I’m working on editing some of the pictures from her day so I can send them to she and Michael before […]

{ 13 comments }

before

May 17, 2012

a note to my children: cartoons were just on Saturday mornings with Froot Loops and the whole family couldn’t miss Cosby or Simon and Simon. We would sit there together with no reality. I got the first Nintendo and it was Christmas and Cousin Angie and Mama played Mario for a week straight and then your Bapa and me, we would play every evening while Nanny and Auntie Shelly rolled their eyes. Mario came in a cartridge and we never bought more games. We just saved the princess over and over and then tried to do it without losing even one life or other rules we made up. Guess what we didn’t have computers until I was a teen and then there was still NO INTERNET. When Grandpa Glenn’s dog died that I loved he had two choices call me write me not an email, but a letter and so he did, it […]

{ 34 comments }

Just Write {30}

April 9, 2012

Asher has a blue shirt with red and yellow headphones on it. Every night I sit on my bed and fold the laundry and it seems like that shirt is always in my hands. Half fold, sleeves together and folded back, half fold again. I stop to look at the front of it  for just a second when I put it on his stack of clothes because it’s my favorite. I don’t know why. I just like him in it. Maybe because it’s his favorite, too. Right before the laundry folding festivities, I put Elsie in her crib. Every night, I rock and nurse her, run my hand over her head and put her down and look at her for a little longer than a second. I walk away and tell her Daddy that I can’t believe how beautiful she is or that she’s ours and doesn’t it seem like she was always […]

{ 41 comments }

soul pull

February 6, 2012

{Hi there, you! If you’re stopping by from Danielle’s place, the quickest way to learn about this place and this person is to clickety-click on the “Best of” or the “About” click-ables up there. So happy to have you!} I was invited to tell the story of Ryan and Heather in the a love story series with Danielle Burkleo and I said, Why yes, I’d be happy to. (Psssst! Danielle is so totally rad and so is her blog, Take Heart.) So anyway, if you head over there you’ll read about a moment in time that was all of our moments… My heart and soul were pulling past my ribs and reaching for him, that’s what it felt like and it was so palpable it was playing from the stage and in my mind, bringing the questions… You can read the rest over at Take Heart (I think that post will be my […]

{ 5 comments }

Just Write ~ the 15th

December 19, 2011

{Note: Just Write will take a break next week, December 27 and return on January 3rd}   Ryan is way on the other side of the house and I can hear him on the phone. He’s a loud-talker, my husband. He’s right by the boys’ room but they don’t wake easily at all. Mike and Molly is on and Elsie is sleeping, too. We can’t loud-talk near her though, she’s not such a solid sleeper yet. Maybe she won’t ever be, like her mother. There are little piles everywhere. Teacher gifts, bows and wrapping, bags with gifts in them and then the usual suspects, like bills and other grown-up paperwork. Sometimes I look around and wonder who all of this belongs to because I don’t very often feel like a grown up. 36 and a half years have gone by and still I’m a kid. I was driving to another store tonight, looking […]

{ 19 comments }

Technologically Teaching

November 11, 2011

(not me) (photo credit) I learned how to type with Mrs. B. in high school on a typewriter. Yes, I am of the age of the typewriter skilled. Fancy electronic typewriters, mind you. The kind that could back up and erase mistakes all on their own, leaving that faint imprint, evidence of error.  Our school had computers but they were new and all I remember of them is from my senior year, when we started using them in our English class, for writing papers, not for using the world wide interweb. Those computers were HUGE compared to the netbooks of today. If this is the case, if I’m doing my remembering correctly, I had no knowledge of cyberspace when I graduated from high school. My first memories of the Internet are in the computer lab my junior year of college. I remember the trip, every night, down to the building that held the lab, to […]

{ 4 comments }

little stone

August 17, 2011

It was a red scooter sort of thing. A motorized two-wheeled zippy little thing. They were called Sprees and they were all the rage. Especially if they were red. We were standing in front of the high school and for some reason he told me I could drive it. I think I’d driven one before, but by myself. This time, my friend Angie hopped on the back and all I remember is that it was harder to steer. But the high school had a circular drive and the first thing I had to do was round a sharp corner. It didn’t take but seconds and we were down, turned sideways and under the scooter in the drive’s edge, little pebbles bouncing away. She said, Why didn’t you stop? She was in so much pain and she was angry and shocked. I had no idea how to answer her. For some reason, when I […]

{ 21 comments }

transplant

March 20, 2011

She’s a transplant, I thought. Taken out of there, the place where she built a life and then placed here, where spring is hard to come by and everything that was once familiar from her childhood now feels foreign. Her stories are here and there and she is both places, even though where she was is emptied of her. Only her mind’s eye can put her back there.  She can’t really be back there though, because she just can’t, for so many reasons and besides, new people are in her old home. They came along to fill the cavity that was left when she was pulled out. You have a lot of stories, I told her. She answered that she wishes some of them weren’t true. I’m sure, I said, and I started to think about how I wish some of mine weren’t true.  The difference is that most of hers weren’t of […]

{ 30 comments }

Lives

July 5, 2010

We sat at the parade and my friend said, “Yes, you’ve lived a lot of lives.” And I answered, with a lump in my throat, “Oh yes, I have.” ~~~~~ I grew up in a town where the 4th of July is a really big deal. If it falls on a weekend, it’s an especially long party complete with red and white and blue and a whole lot of people, and even more alcohol consumption than on the average summer weekend in Midwestern Minnesota. It took me until the 3rd to realize that this year would be different. In the years before marriage and children, I would go to the parade, hang out on the lake, and drink, and then go to the bar and drink some more. After meeting Ryan and having our kiddos, I would spend the day with my family and then always be sure to have plans with friends, […]

{ 34 comments }

The last time I drove byit hurtto think back on her,on menot so long agobut so long ago I came that way againturning my eyes to the laketo see the changesthe new housesthe remodelsthe spaces wherecabins once stood In came a hundredmemoriesof a twenty-somethingparty girlwho lived on the great wide andgreen lake What would she ask me?I thoughtWhat would she want to knowabout who she would become,who she would be becoming? You’ll be okayI’d tell her,then. now.but you are taking a terriblylong wayto okay.It’s starting nowand you knowbut you don’t know You will have a new lifewhile you’re still both youand a wife and a momand you will feel like bothand carry too muchof the now with youthen The pit of your stomachmay never forget thisversion of yourself,brokenby yourself,and not yourselfby he and themand her and him But your heartwill start to heallong from now,the nowon the lake,and you will seesomehowin the blue […]

{ 44 comments }

At first

April 23, 2010

I saw him first through a small window on a wooden door. The living room full of people shouted RYAN! to the stocking capped and goatied man peeking. He ducked. I laughed. He popped up and then in and through, being tackled by old college buddies. He tackled back, to the floor, rolling and yelling. He was loud. I laughed. I knew hardly anyone at the party and I was feeling insecure in the not knowing and small talk. There were appetizers and only sodas to drink. No alcohol, my usual defense, the wall I would build between myself and my lacking self worth, to look at ease and confident. He sat down by the chips and salsa and he asked what I do. I told him that I was a social worker. He stammered a bit, trying to think of the next question. He said, what uh…what um… Population? I asked, thinking […]

{ 40 comments }

Rewriting my name

September 13, 2009

If a weekend could take human form and walk around, mine would be a haggard and shuffling old man. As I sat on the floor and rifled through old boxes of letters and journals from my past at my parent’s house this weekend, I knew I was taking a risk. You see, my past is definitely tainted with things that bring me pain, things I won’t name here, things that still sit in boxes, waiting to be healed. They are ugly things, some that were out of my control and some that were in it. So I ran down memory lane instead of strolling, holding my breath and leaping over pot holes, eyes scanning the pages in a bit of shock. At one point, I tripped. I took a sharp curve and landed face down in the dirt of my own mistakes and the mistakes of others in my life. And there on […]

{ 71 comments }

Monday~September 7th, 2009 Yesterday, while at the state fair, we happened by a sea of cars on display. So the boys spent a good half hour climbing in and out, grabbing steering wheels and shaking them from side to side, Ryan included. Meanwhile, I went to get buffalo chips. (No, not actual buffalo, the animal, but buffalo like buffalo wing sauce but on fries, not wings. With sour cream. End of explanation.) I’m not all that into steering wheels or climbing in and out of cars, but I sure am into pretty much any fair food. Except alligator on a stick…not that. Anyway… When I got back, Ryan excitedly told me there was something new with some of the display models they were climbing in and out of. He said that the speedometers can be set so they won’t go over a certain speed. Then he went on to say that there’s also […]

{ 50 comments }

Thursday~September 3rd UPDATE: Warning: later in this post I will claim that a 5K walk = 5 miles. I have no idea why. I didn’t think, I just typed. I do realize that 5K does not = 5 miles. I just decided it does because my brain does that sort of thing. I need medication, obviously. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ We grew up just down the road from each other. We’ve often joked that the country song that goes something like, “there were 700 fence posts between your place and mine and neither one of us was old enough to drive a car…,” was written just for us. This friend is a very big part of my heart. How do you sum up nearly 30 years of friendship (and counting) with stories and words? You can’t. So I will simply tell you that this friend stole a part of my heart when we were very young, […]

{ 102 comments }

Just One Word

August 27, 2009

Thursday~August 27th, 2009 I think the required training I attended was on tolerance. I was in social work at the time, so we had to fulfill a certain number of hours of training on topics regarding human relationships every year. To be honest, most of these sessions totally stunk, but I enjoyed this one. We professionals sat around the room in a semi-circle and were asked by the instructor to choose a one word description of ourselves. We were then asked to say it out loud, just that one word. The person next to me started. Then it was my turn, and because I had recently become one, I said “Mother.” The man that had started the exercise stopped the process by abruptly chiming in with, “Oh! That was a good one.” That struck me funny so I responded just as abruptly with my nervous laugh. My nervous laugh is loud. Everyone shared […]

{ 40 comments }

Server

June 14, 2009

Sunday~June 14, 2009 I had the pleasure of helping my sister out at the restaurant she runs this weekend. The place is more than charming and the food is really good too. As I bussed tables and washed dishes, I was transported back to the years when I ran my butt off (literally) as a server. I loved working in restaurants, there’s just something about the camaraderie of a restaurant family you can’t find anywhere else. Maybe it has something to do with how hard you work, and how much you need to help each other to make things run smoothly. When I got back yesterday, Ryan and I made dinner together at our very own private restaurant. Cafe of the EO, if you will… We have outdoor seating here… All Most foods are prepared fresh daily… The customers are always almost always satisfied… We have really hard working bussers… They have a […]

{ 28 comments }

Freedom has a shimmy

May 3, 2009

Sunday~May 3, 2009 I was driving along in my very spacious and rockin‘ cool minivan the other day, happy to be off running a few errands solo. At an intersection, I started thinking about how the other three drivers at the stop signs surely had no idea I was BLASTING Love Lockdown by Kanye West. At least I’m pretty sure they didn’t guess my thirty-something shoulder shimmy was timing itself to the Lockdown beat. (You can scroll down to the bottom of the post and click play if you want to hear Love Lockdown. I dare you to try not to shimmy.) I love all kinds of music. It’s powerful, it changes moods, makes a person think, and as my friend Jo of Mylestones said, “When memories mix with music, they can create an explosive concoction of emotions. They become a potion to transport us from faded to vivid, from far away to […]

{ 23 comments }

O Baby

April 1, 2009

Posted on Wednesday~April 1, 2009 I realize that title is misleading. No, I’m not pregnant! But I am taking part in this carnival of funput on by my blog friend, Rachel atIn His Hands. Prepare to say, “ooooh and aaaawww and OH NO and OH MY!” Apparently something was confusing. Or mesmerizing.(That’s me on the left there, and my lovely sister on the right.)I wonder how long I would sit there,sliding those green and white balls back and forth?Probably a really long time. That’s the walker I fell down the basement stairs in… and then I looked like this: Those bruises are actually from a different injury, not the stairs.Maybe they appeared after I looked at that piece of furniture behind me.POW! Right between the eyes! Or perhaps when my eyes gazed upon my sister’s shirt…the one with the printed on vest.Yes, see? She’s not even actually wearing a vest. POW! Hey! I […]

{ 36 comments }

Messes of Mine

March 21, 2009

Posted on Saturday~March 21, 2009 A friend I’ve had for over ten years mailed me some pictures from back when we first met. I fanned through memories of another time, another Heather. One who is much the same as the current version, but also entirely different. In those pictures I saw a trip Up North, one I’d nearly forgotten. And then I flipped to some photos of a vacation to Mexico, one I’ll always remember. And even more flashbacks of our daily adventures as servers at Don Pablo’s, ones that included the beautiful smiles of friends made and kept, and some who’ve moved on or away. My heart aches when I see pictures from years ago. I wish I could hold tightly to all those people, to keep the memories fresh. To never forget what I learned. My friends and I, we look so different now than we did then. It all goes […]

{ 33 comments }

It took 1.5 years to age me

February 12, 2009

Posted on Thursday~February 12th, 2009 I’ve had the same person cutting my hair for about five years now. She does a really good job normally. Not so much on a particular day a couple of weeks ago, but oh well, it’s just hair. I look much like a mushroom, but I’m not that concerned. I’ve never been all that concerned with how I look. Sure, in high school and college I compared myself to the stylish girls and made half-hearted attempts at keeping up, but I never really cared. It was easier to get away with not caring when I was younger. I’m not sure how it happened, but I’ve started to feel a bit ashamed of how I look. Not in a way that concerns what other people think, just in my own eyes. While I was getting my hair cut that day a couple of weeks ago, my stylist started laughing […]

{ 59 comments }

The Unspeller Revisited

November 5, 2008

From the archives… In my former life, I was a case manager, working with people struggling with mental illness. I had a favorite (yes, I had favorites!) client named Paul. He was about sixty-five at the time and the spitting image of Yoda. Only his head wasn’t quite as wide… but he was very short and super cute in an odd sort of way. His look was not the only odd thing about Paul. He showed up one cold night at Regions Hospital and ended up in the behavioral health unit (that’s the pc term for the psych ward). It turned out he’d been homeless most of his life and had never gotten caught up in “the system” before the ripe old age of 65. When I got him an apartment through the program I worked for, he had no idea how to live in it. He lined things up all over the […]

{ 24 comments }

I got married later than quite a few of my friends. I had a number of long-term relationships that simply fell apart before there were wedding bells. Of course in hindsight that’s a good thing. For me, the thing about experiencing SO many relationships before finding Ryan, was that there are a lot of old memories, fears, and issues that can arise, breaking in on a healthy, trusting relationship. Because of that, there was a part of me that struggled with fear as the wedding day drew closer. I knew I could not imagine my life without Ryan in it. I knew that we should be together, somewhere deep inside, I knew. Even when the fears and doubts would creep in, trying to steal my peace, I just knew. They say that happens. But “just knowing” and also having a mind that over-thinks everything can sometimes make life tricky. I never wanted to […]

{ 17 comments }

I had the same boyfriend for almost three years in high school. But not three years straight. Since I would break up with him every now and again, then miss him terribly, then ask for him back. We’ll call him Jim. Just for kicks. We were more than smitten with each other, so Jim would always give in when I asked for him back. Except for once our senior year when I really had to fight to get him back. I learned that the world didn’t revolve around me (gasp!), and realized that there were other girls out there that might enjoy his company. One of them happened to be cute, smart, kind and a friend of mine. We will call her Talia. Now most of the time it would be considered totally against the unspoken rules for a friend to start dating someone you just broke up with. But in our school, […]

{ 18 comments }

Of bees. But that’s not what I’m talking about today… My main squeez-a-roonie and I are in talks about possibly moving to my hometown. Where I grew up. Not the city. Small place. Been gone for years. Currently a city girl. Scared of going back in time. Scared. You see, I moved back there about ten years ago, not long after college, and had a not-so-smart time of life. I was single, confused, silly, immature, and did I mention silly? I call the couple of years (three?) I lived there my “stupid years.” The years where I did everything I never thought I would do in the name of stupidity. Just floundered. Made a fool of myself. You get the idea. It may be a matter of pride that keeps me from considering fully the idea of actually living there. Because I know I made a bit of a name for myself in […]

{ 8 comments }

Somebody Lied….

December 10, 2007

My friend Kim is having a baby and we had a shower for her yesterday. I’m so excited to meet the little one. I love it that she and husband, Roy haven’t found out the sex of the baby. But I hate it at the same time. The anticipation is killing me. I’m guessing boy. I think I always guess boy though since I have two of them. And it seems like lots of people are having boys these days. Kim is going to be a super mom. One thing we all really enjoyed about this shower is that there was none of that “guess which candy bar is melted in the diaper” game business. We just ate and talked and opened gifts. Refreshing. It’s so much fun to be a part of people’s lives as they’re having babies. I love to be able to relate and pass on a little advice here […]

{ 0 comments }